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European Union

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 23 June 2022

Thursday, 23 June 2022

Ceisteanna (117, 154)

Alan Farrell

Ceist:

117. Deputy Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs his views on Ukrainian ascension to the European Union. [30546/22]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pádraig O'Sullivan

Ceist:

154. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he has had recent discussions with his European Union counterparts on the need to progress Ukraine’s European Union Membership application to candidate status; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33182/22]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 117 and 154 together.

On 17 June the European Commission recommended in a formal opinion that Ukraine be granted candidate status, on the understanding that certain steps are taken. Ireland strongly supports the Commission's recommendation. If endorsed by the European Council, it will place Ukraine on a firm path towards EU membership, where it belongs. 

As the Opinion states, the aspiration to belong to the European Union has for many years been an important priority for Ukraine, its governments and citizens. It has been an underlying motive for democratic changes over the past decade and a driver of a number of key reforms founded on European values.

Every sovereign country has a right to determine its own future, free from external pressure and duress. The people of Ukraine have chosen a future in the European Union and they deserve our full support.

Ireland has long advocated for this outcome and I strongly supported Ukraine's EU perspective at Foreign Affairs Council this week. As I re-iterated when I met Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba in April, Ireland fully supports Ukraine's application for EU membership. We have come together with a group of other Member States, with a view to providing political and practical assistance in support of Ukraine’s European perspective.

The European Commission Opinion will provide an important signal to the people and Government of Ukraine who have stood firm in defence of our shared European values in the face of the Russia's appalling war of aggression against them. It is a message that Europe stands with them now, that we will continue to stand with in the future, and that we will support the rebuilding of Ukraine.

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